Let March put a spring in your step.
March is here, the worst of winter has been and gone (fingers crossed), and spring is peeking over the horizon. March’s unpredictable weather means there’ll no doubt be slushy snow and a bite in the air but things look to be heating up just as the pandemic’s grip on our great city looks to be loosening.
Though many of our favorite annual events have been canceled or altered in keeping with the current circumstances, bars are back, cinemas are screening again, museums have reopened, cultural centers are running special exhibitions, and the city looks to be revving up for a summer to remember.
Here are our top events and things to do this March!
Few things can better the spectacle provided by Fever Original’s sublime Candlelight Concerts. Flickering candles and melodic sounds combine phenomenally to create magnetic atmospheres in cherry-picked Chicago venues.
Due to restrictions, these have for some time been solely open-air Candelight concerts in stunning settings like the Artifact Events Historic Courtyard but now that mitigation measures have eased unforgettable Candlelight experiences are taking place within the warmth and comfort of Chicago’s best venues.
Epiphany Center for the Arts and its historic infrastructure boasting exposed beams and sweeping arched trusses provides an exceptional experience. Jazz concerts by Chicago Soul Spectacular are taking place Fridays through to April paying tribute to Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield & More Chicago Greats.
Over at Ace Hotel, more jazz will be swinging and swooning those lucky enough to get hold of a ticket every Saturday with A Tribute to Duke Ellington and More. All concerts are safe and socially-distanced!
Towards the end of February, a special Mad Hatter (Gin &) Tea Party kicked off in the Windy City! The immersive cocktail experience is an especially unmissable event for those fascinated by the kaleidoscopic world of the Lewis Carroll classic but it’s a guaranteed fun-filled experience for all.
Ditch the ordinary drinking plans, enter down the rabbit hole, and revel in the Mad Hatter’s mayhem. Costumes are encouraged in this most psychedelic of settings but if you don’t have time to put an outfit together don’t worry— the Hatter will be lending out some of his craziest hat creations!
Want a seat at the tea party table? Get your tickets for the parties taking place weekly Thursday through Sunday here!
Tickets for many of these special events are selling out fast, and in the spirit of not being late for very important dates, we advise signing up for this exclusive new event that’s coming in April. It might not be happening just yet, but Dining in the Dark with The Secret Society is an experience like no other and you’re going to want to be one step ahead of the crowd.
At this innovative and intriguing tasting experience, a masked and mysterious amalgamation of characters will welcome you to your table. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself seated in an ominous room shrouded in darkness. An eerie atmosphere encircles you but the ensemble of enigmatic assistants will serve you pleasantly as you dabble between mouth-watering dishes. Several trivial tests and trials accompany the evening and something of an initiation begins to beckon.
This isn’t the mundane dining experience you’re used to. The mystery and the food are tantalizing in equal measure and you won’t be able to leave. Eminent psychologists have been advocating dining in the dark as the ultimate gastronomic experience for years but at this Dining In The Dark experience more than exceptional dishes await.
If Dining in the Dark with the Secret Society is the pinnacle of mysterious evening dining, Brews n ‘Baahhs’ is the pinnacle of a wholesome afternoon. We’ve been through a lot the past year and if there’s one way to relax and let your mind unwind it’s with a pasture full of adorable billy kids.
Brews n ‘Baahhs’ invites you to escape to the idyllic setting of GlennArt Farm for an hour hanging out with their playful and adorable goats before doubling down on those warm fuzzy feelings with a few flights of delicious craft beers on the rooftop of One Lake Brewing. This could just be the GOAT when it comes to relaxing experiences so get your tickets now.
Unlike last year, news broke fairly early on that Chicago’s beloved St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are called off again this year. We’re certainly not alone in feeling the absence of lively parades, jovial crowds, and the wonder of the brilliant bright emerald green river but there are luckily many ways to keep the green-glee going.
- In The Realm Of Whiskeys: St. Paddy’s Guided Irish Whiskey Tasting might just be the perfect way to embrace the Irish culture and forget about the lack of our usual celebrations. Enjoy a journey through 9 tastings of carefully curated Irish whiskeys while experiencing how colors can affect how we taste, all set to original music by composer Ryan Ingebritsen and original scent by master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. Tickets are limited to 15 per session, two sessions per evening, and will be socially distanced to keep all guests safe.
- St. Patrick’s Day Yacht Party
Perhaps you want to push the boat out a little further than a bar crawl, in which case there’s no better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Weekend than on this three-story luxury yacht for a cruise on Lake Michigan with Chicago Party Boat! Cruising aboard a three-story, 140 foot, luxury yacht, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Chicago’s iconic landmarks and skyline from Lake Michigan whilst celebrating this joyous Irish holiday.
- St. Patrick’s Day Home Irish Whiskey Tasting & Drunk History Class
If you’d rather stay safely at home and celebrate your own way we get that too. The St. Patrick’s Day Irish Whiskey Tasting & Drunk History Class ensures an evening of Irish enjoyment, Spirit Guides will guide you through a seminar on the history and production of Irish whiskey taking you on a deep dive through the countryside with mixology lessons on Irish cocktails. The premium cocktail kit is shipped to your door in time for the exclusive live stream.
- St. Patrick’s Day Spray Paint & Sip
Whiskey and hard-liquor aren’t for everybody, of course, no matter which Saint is endorsing it. The Spray Paint & Sip: St. Patrick’s Day Takeover offers a much more laid-back way of celebrating. This interactive workshop will turn you into the artist with the help of private instructors who will teach you all the steps along the way. Learn the ins and outs of working with spray paint, create your very own canvas, and sip and jig for St. Paddy’s Day at your own pace.
- Secret Chicago Beer Tour
Of course, it doesn’t have to say St. Paddy’s Day on the tin for you to make it a worthy celebration. The Secret Chicago Beer Tour is perfect for craft beer lovers. It takes you and your accomplices around the very best breweries in town sampling beers from Chicago’s newest craft beer hotspots and some of the hottest craft breweries in the city. You and your crew can dress up in green garments and make it an honorary Irish celebration while learning all about Chicago’s craft beer scene.
Whether it’s perusing Chicago’s multitude of must-see street art murals, or unleashing your inner street artist on a 50ft mural of your own there are a plethora of ways to immerse yourself in Chicago’s legendary art world this March.
- Spray Paint ‘n’ Sip Urban Art Workshop
The same organizers behind the St. Patrick’s Day Spraypaint Takeover run a Spray Paint ‘n’ Sip Urban Art Workshop every week Friday through Sunday. Tickets grant you access to a 90ft x 30ft heavy-ventilated indoor studio with 50ft of wall space to create your own mural. A private instructor will help you use specialty professional-grade indoor safe (water-based) aerosol on your own souvenir canvas.
- Drink and Draw
If you’re in need of some inspiration Street Art and Craft Beer Tours offers a fantastic fusion of admiring local artists and giving it a go yourself. These tours take you on a trip through West Town where you will see and learn about some of Chicago’s most beautiful street art before tasting phenomenal craft beers and then creating your own art piece.
- Paint Your Pet
Budding artists sometimes struggle to find a satisfactory subject for their work but at this Paint Your Pet experience teaches you how to master drawing various forms from the animal kingdom. An instructor will guide you through the sketching and painting process based on a favorite picture of your pet to use as your reference. It is also a BYOB event so you can come equipped with your favorite beverage and all other equipment you need is already waiting for you.
On the topic of admiring acclaimed artists, there is an array of fantastic exhibitions in Chicago and many more coming within the next couple of months:
- Art Institute of Chicago: “Monet & Chicago” + “Bisa Butler: Portraits”
The prestigious Art Institute of Chicago reopened last month and extended both its Monet and Chicago and Bisa Butler: Portraits exhibitions through summer giving us more time to see a vast collection of the French impressionist’s iconic paintings.
- Lighthouse Artspace Chicago: Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit
The work of yet another of history’s famous painters will be showcased in Chicago this month but in a slightly different way. While Monet & Chicago invites guests to see Monet’s original works up close and personal, the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit offers visitors the chance to submerge themselves in the Dutch painter’s masterpieces through flawless digital projections and state-of-the-art soundscape.
- The Museum of Science + Industry: “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes”
If there is one exhibition coming in March that is sure to cause a bit of hysteria it is The MSI’s Marvel exhibit. Running from March 4 through September 6, 2021, this month kicks off half a year of Marvel madness right here in Chicago. More than 300 artifacts, original comic book pages, sculptures, and many interactive displays offer a day of unparalleled Marvel fun for all ages and all different levels of Avengers-enthusiast.
- Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center: Mandela: Struggle for Freedom
Like the aforementioned painters, Mandela is a household name around the world. An immersive exhibition on the iconic civil rights champion started last month and illustrates his life, his legacy, and his unbreakable will. It also, however, tells tales of repression and resilience while exploring themes such as “the role of nonviolent protest, the power of youth, and the indignities of incarceration that still resonate today.” Dramatic visuals, digital technology, interactive activities, and original artifacts make it a must-do experience this March.
- Morton Arboretum: “Human+Nature”
It’s not arriving until the beginning of April but it is an exhibition that you absolutely must have pinned in your diary. Morton Arboretum’s Human+Nature exhibition will feature five massive natural sculptures from internationally-renowned South African artist, Daniel Popper. When it comes to exhibitions at the 1,700-acre tree museum and research center, they don’t take small measures, they go big, and this one is certainly no exception.
After a museum exhibition, you might be done marveling at masterpieces of Marvel artifacts and feel it’s time to for a thrill-seeking activity or two. After what 2020 provided this is is definitely one to fill with memorable moments and tick off a few of those Chicago Bucket List experiences.
- Indoor Skydiving
It might be a little jump from exploring exhibitions to leaping out of a plane but in Chicago, you can try one of the most popular do-before-you-die activities from inside one of our state-of-the-art indoor skydiving centers. With an iFly Indoor Skydiving Center in Lincoln Park and another iFly Indoor Skydiving Center in Rosemont, there are two conveniently located cutting-edge centers to choose from. Kids and adults can both experience the same sensation you’d get 12,000 feet up in the sky and if you feel you have what it takes, you can test your vertigo above Chicago’s iconic skyline at Skydive Chicago, one of the world’s largest skydiving resorts
- Kayak Chicago River
Back down at a non-nauseating height, there’s a unique way of seeing Chicago from a whole different perspective. With the weather warming up more people will begin taking to the water. Those brave souls in the Windy City might wrap up and shrug off the ice and winter chill but for the rest of us, warmer weather is a time to enjoy aquatic activity. Kayaks and paddleboards can be rented from various operators at both Monroe Harbor and Chicago Riverwalk locations but it is the river the most unique experience can be found. Flanked either side by Chicago’s famous highrise architecture, you can venture through the city’s heart via skyscraper canyons and under its historic bridges.
- Axe Throwing
The new axe throwing lanes at Kanya Lounge offer an exclusive 2-story adult playground with five lanes for you to test your inner lumberjack. Blow off some steam and enjoy a signature cocktail or a bucket of beers or seltzers in the bar and lounge area while you’re at it.
- Rage Room Experience
Kanya Lounge has more than just axe throwing lanes. There are now also 3 unique custom-made rage rooms providing the ultimate stress reliever after the torrid months we’ve had. After you’ve let out your anger in the rage room experience you can enjoy some signature cocktails in their bar and lounge.
Talking of cocktails, Chicago’s largest patio has extended its cocktail and Candyland event through to March. Recess once again revamped its 14,500-square-foot space offering another magical escape within its West Loop winter hideout and you’re going to feel like a kid in a candy store when you see what’s on offer.
30 shipping containers surround a cozy amalgamation of bars, food stands, and cabana houses where you can settle down for drinks at fire tables and enjoy the open sky while getting a little boozy in the process. Tickets to The Sugar Rush Pop-Up come with a Sugar Rush specialty cocktail, a boozy Recess Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate, a Gourmet Rice Krispie treat, a Recess beanie hat, and a goodie bag of extra sweet treats all included. If you’re a cocktail-fanatic with a sweet tooth, this is certainly for you.
If candy doesn’t tickle your fancy, worry not – The Dime has a social and savory option that’s certain to send your taste-buds soaring. Bottomless brunches every Saturday & Sunday at The Dime are a surefire way to enjoy your weekend. Great music, food, and drinks ensure a brilliant brunch with your quarantine crew. Tickers include bottomless mimosas, bellinis, and beers, plus one entree from The Dime’s brunch menu. There’s no better place to get that classic brunch vibe!
Chicago’s art and gastronomy scenes always get the credit but the caliber of music and magic shows on offer in the Windy City is also exceptional.
- Laugh Factory Chicago
Laugh Factory Chicago is back and better than ever. Every safety precaution has been taken to make sure you can enjoy live comedy safely! Some of today’s biggest names and local comedians will deliver something for every taste and style of standup comedy at this hilarious event.
- Trickery Chicago Magic Show
Fun, intimate, sometimes outrageous, and always hilarious – Trickery Chicago is a magic show like no other. Aaron, the master magician, will awe and amaze with mystifying tricks and spectacular entertainment. The show is BYOB so feel free to add to the magic by bringing along some drinks to lift your spirits even more.
- Grand Cabaret After Dark: A Vintage Evening of Jazz & Magic
At Grand Cabaret After Dark, you’ll be treated to a little bit of everything. Featuring live jazz music of classics and contemporary songs by the E-Line Organ Trio, and some mysterious magic by Mr. Jim Bergstrom! A delectable dinner and BYOB drinks rules ensure an all-round night of mystery and marvel.
It’s always good to have something to look forward to down the line and this unique mermaid cocktail party is an event that will have you leaving the city streets behind for a whole new world.
What are you willing to give up for the chance to drink with mermaids? Your voice, your heart’s desire… maybe your very own human form? Luckily, all your nautical fairytale dreams can come to life without having to sacrifice anything you hold dear to your heart. The Little Mermaid Cocktail Experience has plans of splashing its way to Chicago in June 2021, and you’re invited to witness this timeless tale like never before! Get your tickets here, and be the first to enjoy the iconic event!
[Featured image from Shutterstock]